If they truly love you, they’d let you sleep... We chat evening routines and overnight products with the beauty experts, so you can snooze your way to wedding-ready

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Ever feel there are just not enough hours in the day?

Between working, running a home, keeping up with friends and family, attempting to do some exercise, aiming for at least seven hours’ sleep and now planning a wedding, it’s safe to assume your days are fully booked. 

The first thing to go from the schedule? Self-care.

The thing you’re now craving the most? Self-care.

So instead of sidelining your beauty routine completely (and risk dull skin and under-eye bags on the big day!), carve out a little bit of me-time each evening. Get into the right routine, and not only will you wake up feeling refreshed, you’ll look it too.

No snoozing and losing here, just multitasking princesses – thanks to the wisdom of our ever-helpful beauty queens. 

a person sleeping peacefully and a cut-out Lush Sleepy product image

The Sleepy body lotion from Lush has remained a firm favourite since its initial limited-release debut and viral sell-out in 2017

Create a relaxing sleep environment

Beauty pro Colleen Davidson is a firm believer in the importance of getting plenty of shut-eye.

“Planning a wedding can be stressful and take up lots of your spare time, but getting enough beauty sleep is crucial,” says the woman behind Colleen Davidson Artistry. “Lack of sleep can cause darker under-eyes, dryness and dullness – none of which scream bridal beauty.” 

Emphasising the importance of winding down at the end of the evening before hitting the hay, the hair stylist and makeup artist recommends creating a relaxing environment with the help of essential oils as well as lovely hand and nail creams. 

The particular scents that soothe us are of course going to vary from nose to nose, but if you’re wandering the high street and looking for a tried-and-tested fan favourite, Lush is likely to be on your list of stops (its Buchanan Street store is a must-visit in Glasgow).

The brand’s Sleepy range (body lotions, shower gels, pillow sprays and more) is packed with lavender oil, ylang-ylang and the delicious tonka absolute – and, due to popular demand, has established itself as a permanent fixture in Lush’s repertoire. 

According to Nuffield Health’s 2023 Healthier Nation Index, Britons get a mere 5.91 hours of sleep per night on average, and only a third of UK adults rate their sleep as ‘good’.

In the hopes of maximising the quality of our sleep, Lush perfumer Emma Vincent reckons it’s all about forming good habits – and “every habit starts with a cue”. That makes scents such as the Sleepy range “a powerful tool in building routines that support our natural cycle of sleepiness and wakefulness”. 

"Remember: make sure not to introduce anything new into your routine too close to the wedding day – in case of bad reactions"
makeup artist applying product to a woman's undereye and the product shots of two cleansers on the right

Left: Colleen Davidson Artistry works her magic on a bride who has no doubt followed her advice in the run-up to the wedding (Photo: Ben Fitzhugh); Right: Two of Colleen's top product picks – Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Skin Renew Cleansing Oil, £12 for 200ml and Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, £49

Cleanse your skin and curate a skincare routine

After a pampering and soothingly scented shower or bath, it’s time to shift your attention to a skincare regime. “I always encourage my brides to make sure they properly cleanse their skin before bed,” Colleen says.

“Ideally, you’d make it a double cleanse to ensure SPF, makeup and daily pollution are all thoroughly cleared away.” Her go-to products?

“Cleansing oils and balms are my favourite way to remove makeup at the end of the day – I love the Elemis Cleansing Balm and Superfacialist Cleansing Oil – and both are a lovely texture for giving yourself a relaxing facial massage before bed.” 

Where possible, Colleen recommends “products containing active ingredients to target specific skin concerns while you sleep”. Just make sure not to introduce anything new into your routine too close to the wedding day in case of bad reactions. It’s also good to give the products enough time to do their job. 

Makeup artist Leigh Blaney is a cheerleader for glowing, hydrated skin, telling us that makeup and self-tans always “sit better on the smoother surface of well-looked-after skin”.

Wedding self-tanning

Lots of the self-tans currently on the market can be left on overnight (other than the express ones, of course), meaning you can apply it before bed, let it develop overnight and then rinse it off first thing in the morning.

Highly rated makeup artist Carol Fairfield is all for embracing the self-tan journey ahead of the big day, and she has several firm favourites to share with us:

“For a body tan, I love Vita Liberata and Bondi Sands – they’re both great at providing an even coverage. And for the face, I highly recommend Tan-Luxe’s ‘The Face’ illuminating self-tan drops – they’re particularly good if your facial skin is usually resistant to self-tan. Just make sure to incorporate them into your routine at least a month prior to the wedding.” 

Make sure you look your best self on your big day with the help of our bridal beauty countdown: a timeline to get that wedding day glow


a bride and her bridesmaids in pajamas and sunglasses while reading newspapers with three different beauty products placed on top of photo

Back: The morning after the sleep before looks positively radiant thanks to Makeup by Leigh Blaney (Photo: Graeme Wilson Photography); Front, from left: Leigh's top product picks include these cooling and de-puffing eye masks from Grace & Stella and Perfectil for boosting your skin, hair and nails

Supplement with vitamins and serums

Specialising in bridal makeup, the Glasgow-based artist advises taking “extra vitamins and minerals to help with your overall health, specifically Perfectil as a tried-and-tested booster for hair, skin and nails”. 

And while you’re topping up your mineral supply, why not spend an extra few minutes sharing the TLC with your lashes? “Popping on a lash serum before bed is great for nourishing your eyelashes and stimulating growth from under the surface,” Leigh says. 

Love a multi-purpose hair and beauty product?

Finally, if you’re looking for something to boost dry or processed hair that can be left on overnight and won’t cost the earth, Carol Fairfield suggests picking up an extra-virgin cold-pressed coconut oil. “I’ve tried loads and the one from Lidl is very good – it’s cheap and you can even use it as a body oil moisturiser and for your nails!” 

Sounds great! But, as with the vast majority of beauty and skincare products, consistency is the key to noticeable results. Aim to take/apply them at the same time every day – and before long they will be as ingrained in your routine as brushing your teeth. 

a glowing smiling bride with a pearl necklace and tiara to the left of cut outs of a tub of coconut oil and facial tanning drops

Left: Carol Fairfield Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist will make sure you’ve got your glow on, just like this bride; Right: Two of Carol's favourite products include Lidl’s extra-virgin cold processed coconut oil beauty bargain at just £1.65 for 300ml and Tan-Luxe’s ‘The Face’ illuminating self-tan drops, £36

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